October 7th, 2008

snow and ashes

Good Morning!

The fog is tucked close to the house.  I can see the Redwood tree, and there the world ends in a sea of light gray.

I have been reading the news and my head wraps in fog.  I sit like a bird on a branch of a tree and gently bounce my branch on an imagined tree of stability.

Perhaps this crisis makes it ever more clear that the world is one, and my breath is yours, and yours mine.  In and out of our lungs it goes, in and out of heart, trust, love, and the warm, egg-filled nest of twig-lined soul.

alan - purple flowers

Is that so?

I know everyone has seen this story innumerable times, and there are many versions of it, but it keeps running through my head as I continue my attempt to balance on wings of equanimity.   The fog just pulled aside like a veil.  The sky is blue.  

Everything in life holds both a blessing and a curse. We deny this when we label the events of our lives as either good or bad. The following old Zen story illustrates this lesson most effectively.

A farmer had a horse but one day, the horse ran away and so the farmer and his son had to plow their fields themselves. Their neighbors said, "Oh, what bad luck that your horse ran away!" But the farmer replied, "Bad luck, good luck, who knows?"

The next week, the horse returned to the farm, bringing a herd of wild horses with him. "What wonderful luck!" cried the neighbors, but the farmer responded, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"

Then, the farmer's son was thrown as he tried to ride one of the wild horses, and he broke his leg. "Ah, such bad luck," sympathized the neighbors. Once again, the farmer responded, "Bad luck, good luck, who knows?"


A short time later, the ruler of the country recruited all young men to join his army for battle. The son, with his broken leg, was left at home. "What good luck that your son was not forced into battle!" celebrated the neighbors. And the farmer remarked, "Good luck, bad luck, who knows?"

alan - joshua tree bloom

For California voters -

I find it distressing that the propositions on the CA ballot are often worded so as to lead us to the opposite of what we might logically think or support.   Perhaps that is a good thing since we are forced to pay detailed attention, something we should do anyway, and yet, sometimes I gloss.

The Union of Concerned Scientists are urging a no vote on proposition 7, a no vote on proposition 10 and a yes on 2.

Read more about their reasons here:



Book Cover

Evening -

I nourished sanity this evening, communed with the half-moon, made my wish on the first star for Barack, and watched the play of bats.

The Way In
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.
~ Linda Hogan ~
(Rounding the Human Corners)